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Monday, September 22, 2008


Got a huge kick out of what's currently at the top of Metsblog right now: how many games the Mets would lead the NL East by if MLB games ended after 6 or 8 innings.

The Phillies defense has definitely improved greatly as the year has gone on. I remember having our defense lose us games earlier in the year, specifically with Rollins out against the Mets, and later against the Cardinals where two 10th inning errors lost us the game. I think Jimmy has been the key to the defense this year, with Chase turning in a strong effort, as well as the third base spot with Feliz/Dobbs both providing strong efforts, and even Howard making some plays in the field. The outfields' defense has been exceptional, with Shane playing gold glove defense, along with Werth having a strong year, and Burrell getting a good number of assists this year.

This was in the last thread but it bears repeating for those posters who think a closer has little to no value, that anyone can do it, etc. etc. etc.

"Even crazier is if games were to end in the 8th inning, the Mets would lead us by 6 1/2 games."

And that's why closers sometimes win Cy Young awards.

Marlins lose today and are now all but done. Maybe one of the most annoying teams the Phils have ever played. I can't believe we wound up just 8-10 against them! Felt like a lot worse.

I hope Victorino gets a gold glove. I should start that campaign.

I said 93 wins in March and many called me crazy...Go Phillies.

I hope Jimmy repeats at SS for GG...he should as he's been great all in the NL easily.

The Marlins are eliminated from the division but still in play (barely) for the Wild Card. The Marlins play the Nationals next while the Mets play the Cubs, then the Marlins and Mets meet. This could get interesting...

I can see McClouth winning the CF GG.

Interesting question: Who is more deserving of a gold glove, Jimmy or Vic?

I personally say Vic, his range is absolutely exceptional, and after he won the game for the Phils against the Braves by throwing out Blanco in the 10th to win us the game, I would have a hard time thinking he does not deserve a gold glove.

good article just posted on why Lidge is more valuable than K-Rod

This Marlins team was exremely annoying, but it seems like they always have been. I remember in '05 they beaned JRoll in the head, then threw at Abreau. Then Dontrell and Miggy were on the top step challenging for a brawl, but the Phils didn't do anything about it because we were still contending and they weren't. And they went straight through us in '03 to win the series. Add in that they've been in existance, what 12 years and have won two titles and no one shows up for their games.

Jason: Some of Vic's routes are goofy and he's not real elegant out there so I doubt he gets a GG, but he's got the range and makes the plays.

Defense has been a plus but I don't think the OF defense has been as stellar as everyone seems to think. Burrell seemed to start pretty strong but it seemed like by mid-season that Burrell was where he has been the past 2-3 years: catches whatever he gets to but that isn't necessarily a whole lot.

As for Victorino, I don't think he is a Gold Glove-caliber defender in CF. Yeah, he has ridiculous range but he positions himself poorly and largely relies upon his blazing speed to cover up for poor positioning/mixed ability to read balls correctly once they are hit.

Since he has blazing speed, Vic is able to come up for the 2 deficiencies (poor positioning/mixed ability to read balls correctly). While it is likely he will be able to do this for the next year or two, I don't know if Vic will be able to rely upon his speed to bail out. But by then he might have a lot more experience in CF and be able to better position himself/read balls off the bat.

My take on Vic is this - Gold Glove caliber in RF but just above average/good CF. As for Jenkins/Werth, they have been sufficient in RF but I wouldn't say either guy is a stellar defender. More in the above average category.

I would love to see some actual numbers though.

Every year since Cholly has been manager, this team comes out in April and generally looks below average/poor defensively. Some of the onus belongs on the players but the coaches should take some responsbility too including Smith (who is in charge of the INF defense which was pretty putrid the first 3 weeks of the season).

Wanted to offer my congrats on winning the division. I really hope to see you guys in the NLCS. That would be a classic.

Very interesting point regarding the lack of attendance at Marlins games. I don't understand... they have an exciting team that (as we Fightins' fans well know) doesn't quit, their farm system seems to crank out excellent replacements for the guys they can no longer afford, and they generally trade well. And as good as they've been in their break-out season, Tampa also has not drawn fans like they should. Whats up in Florida?

Haddon Heights Harv: one of the biggest problems in South Florida is the unpredictable weather. People don't go to games because of the threat of t-showers every night.

Putting a major league franchise in Tampa was a bad idea. The Yankees are so engrained in that city and the Steinbrenners have such a presence there, it was almost impossible to build a fan base. Only games they draw are for the Yanks.

It's pretty sad, because both teams do have exciting young talent. If they just showed up, maybe they could afford to keep them around. I hope the young talent doesn't show up this weekend though :-)

MG, Clout: Good observations. It's an interesting discussion point. I would guess that the numbers stack up well against other CFs in the National League. They really need a better system than GG for rewarding excellence in defense.

i'm not in the camp that says closers have no value, but the comparison between the mets and phillies performances up until the 6th and 8th innings is a bit funky. for instance, how many games were tied at the end of 6 or 8 innings, and how were they accounted for? and that also unfairly discounts the late-inning offensive surges that carried the phillies through the first quarter of the season...maybe that hypothetical difference in records is because the mets' offense in general puts up early runs and peeters out after a few innings? comparing the hypothetical win-loss records is just...nonsensical especially if you're trying to highlight the difference in bullpens.
this is of course not to take anything away from lidge. he's been great (although the above analysis should be repeated with the entire league to see how the distribution breaks out. but this argument in and of itself doesn't advance his worthiness as a cy young candidate.

There's no question, bob, that James'/Starks' records don't isolate pen performance as opposed to overall team performance late in games.

But we can, at this point, recall the clout theory of late-game accountability. It's the pen's job to hold leads. If given a lead, they shouldn't rely on late-inning offensive performance to save them. Therefore the record comparison does a better job of revealing how poor the Mets' pen is than it does revealing anything in particular about the Phillies. They've simply failed keep the lead given them.

One could assume that the pen would have to be good in order for the Phils to win so many late games, but that's not necessarily true.

bob: I would agree with you in terms of who's ahead after 6 innings. Not so much about who's ahead after 8 innings (vs. who's ahead after 9). That record is going to be heavily influenced by the bullpen.

The Phillies have led after 6 innings 71 times. Trailed 62 times. They were tied 23 times.

So they would be 71-62-23

The Mets are 84-51-19 after 6 innings. So the phillies are 11 games back in the loss column there.

As you look further it's a pointless exercise, isn't it?

Here's some fun.

When tied after 6 innings, the Phillies are 14-9. The Mets are 5 and 14.

(realize there's a new thread, but...)

i agree that the bullpen influences the record after 8 innings; but the offense definitely has a say in that...smaller leads are obviously more susceptible to losses than bigger leads. granted, the phillies lead the league because they're undefeated when leading after 8 innings; but i wonder what the league distribution of losses incurred after an 8th inning lead looks like; i bet the mets are on the tail end of skewed distribution.

>>Very interesting point regarding the lack of attendance at Marlins games. I don't understand... they have an exciting team that (as we Fightins' fans well know) doesn't quit, their farm system seems to crank out excellent replacements for the guys they can no longer afford, and they generally trade well. And as good as they've been in their break-out season, Tampa also has not drawn fans like they should. Whats up in Florida?<<

I've been living in So. Florida for 12 years. I only know a handful of native Floridians. Everyone is from the northeast and a few from the mid-west. They go to cheer their teams when they are in town. The stadium is a 30 minute ride from center city Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, almost an hour from West Palm Beach. ZERO public transit to the stadium. The organization really tries to draw fans with giveaway days, concerts, Latin nights, fireworks, etc. but with $10 parking and expensive seating (for many weekday games they close the upper deck-ya' gotta pay to sit downstairs) plus the hassle to get over to the park, people tend to stay at home. The prices here probably aren't as high as most other places, but the cost of living here has risen significantly in my dozen years. The potential for rain is always out there but rainouts are really infrequent here, believe it or not.

MG: Hopefully in 2 or 3 years Victorino won't be relying on his peed anymore. I don't think he has played a ton of center field in his career.

Speed will always help cover any deficiency in being able to read balls off the bat. That's why I guy like Burrell needs to be well above average at picking up balls off the bat and a guy like Vic can get away with being average at it.

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